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Thoughts from the Russian Federation
#41
(11-25-2019, 02:15 AM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(11-20-2019, 03:14 AM)Hintergrund Wrote: It makes sense re: the Crises, but I still think it's odd that Stalin, his purges and the Holodomor constitute a High. And even if it's true, how is the first half of Stalin's rule a High, but the second one an Awakening? What happened?

Also, many Russians joke that their history can be concluded in one sentence: "Things got worse." Does their cycle only have two seasons (of different length), Crisis and everything else?

It is a particularly American thought process that first turnings must be "high" and "euphoric".  Probably due to the poor name choice S&H chose and the rose colored glasses many wear about the 1950s.  1Ts need not be idyllic, what they do need to be though is a time where the consensus that arose out of the previous 4T is enforced--brutally if necessary.

A 1T can be quite nasty; consider the post-Civil War South. The solution for the South was something closer to free-wheeling capitalism which was going to solve more problems (people recently freed from tyranny need a free market, even if they have just overthrown an aristocratic or crony-capitalist system) than the agenda of the racist agrarians who eventually prevailed. Freedmen may have been euphoric about getting economic freedom and the right to participate in politics -- but they lost both, and any euphoria was gone. If the war utterly destroys the infrastructure and destroys the intellectual leadership and a large part of the people who own and operate the businesses (I think of Poland), then the 1T at the least begins nasty. Even in western Germany, life could be nasty while much of the activity was either becoming a field hand to make sure that people got fed or picking up the pieces to rebuild the wrecked buildings, roads, sewers power lines, and rails, etc.

Not even Crises must be calamitous, but the mad forced collectivization, the Holodomor, and the Great Patriotic War complete with Nazi atrocities on a huge scale certainly look like Crisis altogether. Can a Crisis Era last nearly thirty years? Maybe, if leadership is mad enough and a war takes on Crisis characteristics. Whether one considers the Great Patriotic War an extension of an earlier Crisis Era or a new one imposed largely from outside is moot in my argument. A Crisis can be imposed upon a country not ready for it. 

Let's put it this way: the certainty of a random person born in Russia in 1913 surviving until 1946 was unusually low by historical standards. War, starvation, executions, persecution -- I can think of few places that I would less rather have been in inhuman history than in Russia from 1913 to at least 1946. China from about 1920 to 1950 was horrible, too.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#42
(01-04-2020, 12:13 PM)Isoko Wrote: That is correct. People were actually content with Putin, half the country even supporting his annexation of the Crimea, until he decided to raise the pension age. That was it, overnight the country hated him. Had he left the pensions alone, he would be alot more popular right now and people content with his leadership.

I'm somewhat surprised that much of the country opposed annexation of Crimea.  What were the arguments against it?

Pensions and retirement are a big problem everywhere.  With people living longer, and population growth slowing or ended, retirement age needs to be pushed back to keep retirement obligations from becoming overwhelming, but it's never going to be popular.  The retirement age in the US is shortly going to be pushed back from 65 to 67, but that was passed into law way back in the 1980s, when the people affected were still in their 20s or before.  And we're going to need an additional increase to 70 or so soon.
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#43
(01-05-2020, 11:24 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-04-2020, 12:13 PM)Isoko Wrote: That is correct. People were actually content with Putin, half the country even supporting his annexation of the Crimea, until he decided to raise the pension age. That was it, overnight the country hated him. Had he left the pensions alone, he would be alot more popular right now and people content with his leadership.

I'm somewhat surprised that much of the country opposed annexation of Crimea.  What were the arguments against it?

Pensions and retirement are a big problem everywhere.  With people living longer, and population growth slowing or ended, retirement age needs to be pushed back to keep retirement obligations from becoming overwhelming, but it's never going to be popular.  The retirement age in the US is shortly going to be pushed back from 65 to 67, but that was passed into law way back in the 1980s, when the people affected were still in their 20s or before.  And we're going to need an additional increase to 70 or so soon.

People will approve of degradation of civil liberties and due process so long as someone else gets hurt and the government brings pride through some nationalist achievement. Adolf Hitler did not hold free elections, but he would have won landslides until the casualty lists came back from the Russian Front. Only after the defeat at Stalingrad and some ominous retreats was there any meaningful resistance. The attempt on Hitler's life on 20 July 1944 followed the D-Day invasion but preceded the Romanian coup that switched sides of Germany's most effective ally in Europe, and I can only suspect that the Stauffenberg clique believed that Germany could get better terms while the major allies when those Allies were well outside of Germany itself, especially if the new government could stop the most horrible of deeds (the Holocaust). 

Trump is dead meat politically should the economy falter, or should he attempt to dismantle the welfare state. I wonder how many of his voters in 2016 were on disability or food stamps as I am. (I would rather earn a solid income and not need them, but with Asperger's I am ill-suited to servile jobs in which one must keep up the "happy-to-serve-you smile" or any job involving repeated brute force). I would like to participate in the consumer economy, which in my case means getting richer experiences than I have now. 200 channels of cable TV or a trip to Italy and Greece? You can figure what my choice would be. I want some memories and nice photos for when I end up incarcerated in a nursing home in which I have nothing better to do than to watch televised sports.  

The manufacturing sector is already faltering. Orders for manufactured goods is one of the more powerful of leading indicators.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#44
And for the longest time I have said watch the Exclave of Kaliningrad closely.

I'm beginning to wonder if the Jewish state shouldn't be transferred from the Middle East to the Exclave.

Not only peace in our time - but peace for all time?
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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